How to respond to friends' grief

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Snow White, Aug 15, 2018.

  1. Snow White

    Snow White Temporarily in the Magic Kingdom

    I'm trying to find the right thing to do/say to our dear next-door neighbors, who lost their young son on the weekend to a drug overdose, while we were dealing with our daughter's drama in our house. He had just turned 19 and in a lot of ways was just like our daughter. My heart is breaking for them but other than offering condolences, I'm at a loss.

    I thought maybe someone here might have some ideas.
  2. EarthIsHard

    EarthIsHard Member

    Snow, that's so sad and hard. What can you really say? A sincere hug may go a long way.
  3. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Well-Known Member

    Someone once told me that instead of saying is there anything we can do to help they took the initiative and found little ways they could help. Chores that needed done offer to pick up family at airport for instance or our family tradition is to take food over so during the chaos of the funeral there are things to grab. Give them one less thing to worry about and it shows your support.
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  4. Deni D

    Deni D Active Member

    In a similar situation with a close relative I found that being there and letting them talk about whatever they want to helped, when they wanted to talk. Remembrances, concerns, guilt all that comes up without giving them any platitudes seemed to be best.

    Also in your situation you should give yourself some care and time to deal with feelings that may come up for you. You probably have spent a lot of time worrying about a similar outcome for yourself and your family. So it might be good to be sure you take time to do what it is you do for yourself for a little grounding if you feel you need it. I needed it for myself.
  5. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    I am so sorry for this. What a tragic loss. I agree a hug goes a long way and an offer to bring over a meal, or just letting your neighbors know you are there for them.
    Sage advice Deni, (my quote thingee won’t work) I agree that it is so important for you Snow, to be kind to yourself and take care of your own needs as well through this tough time.
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  6. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    So sorry to hear that. HOW TRAGIC for that momma.

    I would make a casserole with a note that you are there for her if she ever wants to talk.

    NOTHING can help her pain right now I'm sure. So sad.
  7. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    Snow White, Such very sad news, 19 is so young and I am positive the family is in shock. When my son died at 13 from a virus, there were a few things that really helped me. Friends gave me massages and brushed my hair, I could only eat light foods like fruits soups, salads. I noticed people cleaning my bathroom and people in my kitchen organizing food and making sandwiches, others were taking people back and forth to the air port. I will never forget as long as I live, our Priest napping on the floor and going to his meetings and coming right back and working in my kitchen making sandwiches and staying close to us, my son was his assistant at our Church and our poor Priest was besides himself. He was at the hospital when my son died and really could not help us because he was grieved to the core of his being. I felt so sorry for him. It was like I was watching all of this and trying to make sense of what is going on. I remember the genuine support and I remember everyone that was there just to get the news. It was very helpful when someone that had buried a child was there to give me guidance. I felt as if I was shot through the heart and not alive. It took me about 10-15 years after my son's death to feel somewhat normal. It was hard to bury a child and raise another child that is troubled. When more time passes tell your neighbor about The Compassionate Friends, an international support group that helps parents deal with the death of a child. It was my life line and I hope it will be your neighbors. I am so sorry.
  8. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    If you have some good memories of him, tell them. Maybe he waved and smiled when you saw him outside. Or he made some kind gesture.

    One of our girls friends passed yesterday, 20 years old, he was in to drugs. But he was shot, I don't know if it was self inflicted or not. But, I looked back on the only FB message I sent him over a year ago, and saw how caring and concerned he was about my daughter when she ran off.

    I texted him, because her phone showed her at his house. But I found out he had already moved out, and he told me not to let her go to that house any more. That there were dangerous people there. To keep her home, keep her safe. Those words are what his family should remember him by. Not the last tragic day of his life. Ksm
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  9. Snow White

    Snow White Temporarily in the Magic Kingdom

    Thanks to all for your replies. We have been to the neighbor's house and done a lot of hugging and just listening. They don't want flowers but I think I found a very appropriate gift. The mom has been doing so much work on her backyard flower gardens. We are going to get them a small memorial "stepping stone" for the flower garden (with his name on it). I think she will appreciate a "memory" gift.

    ksm - that is so sad and if it was violent, it seems to be that much worse. So sorry for your daughter's loss.

    newstart - my heartfelt condolences on the loss of your young son. I can't imagine anything worse than burying a child. Thank you for sharing your memories - so sad. I'm not sure I could be as strong as you. A friend of ours is very active with Compassionate Friends - I will definitely mention this to the family (thanks for that reminder).
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